November 22, 2010

Will Green Gift Monday Snare Cyber Monday Shoppers?

Green Gift Monday The Nature Conservancy, one of the nation's biggest environmental groups, is trying to turn one of the busiest online shopping days of the year into Green Gift Monday—or a time to support conservation groups and buy environmentally friendly products.

The Monday after Thanksgiving is often called Cyber Monday because so many people buy online when they return to the office from the holiday. On the Monday after the holiday last year, consumers spent $887- million online, according to comScore.

Trying to get people to think about sending their dollars on green causes,  the Nature Conservancy is starting a Web campaign to ask online retailers, blog writers, and nonprofits to spread the word to consumers about buying and giving environmentally friendly products or making donations on behalf of friends and relatives.

"Nobody thinks about giving meaningful, responsible gifts," says Amy Ganderson, associate director of digital marketing at the Nature Conservancy.

The organization is modeling the campaign after Blog Action Day, an annual event held every October 15 in which blog writers worldwide write a post to support a single cause. Last year, more than 5,600 bloggers from 143 countries reached more than 40 million readers to call attention to water-conservation issues.

So far, 20 organizations have joined the Green Gift Monday movement, including Amazon, Mother Nature Network, American Red Cross, and TreeHugger,  according to the Nature Conservancy.

Organizations that want to join the campaign can do so by writing blog posts, posting the  Green Gift Monday banner on their sites, and using social networks to promote the day with the hashtag #GGM2010. In turn, the Nature Conservancy will post links to participating organizations and blog writers on its Green Gift Monday site.

Each organization promoting Green Gift Monday is encouraged to promote different  green-gift options  that day. The Nature Conservancy also wants to promote its own online gift catalog that day. But Ms. Ganderson insists that "it's not about us showcasing ourselves to promote our own gifts. This is a movement within our community."